Did you change your clothes today? Why do we change our clothes?
I change my clothes every day. Nearly every day I take a shower and then get dressed. Every single day is sort of a fresh start for being clean and for putting on clean clothes. And that’s the picture Paul uses in Ephesians to teach us what it means to be a Christian. To live connected to Jesus means daily taking off the old clothes and putting on the new.
But before we can do that we have to first and foremost remember that we have already put off the old sinful self and we have already put on the new self. Listen to how Paul says it here in Ephesians 4:
Ephesians 4:21-24. 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life…24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Here Paul is describing our salvation. When a person becomes a Christian they are changed forever on the inside. The SELF goes from “old” to “new.”
Do you remember the story of Lazarus in the Bible? Lazarus died and then four days later Jesus raised him from the dead. He went from dead to alive. From old self to new self. And when he walked out of the tomb Jesus said, “Take those old dead man’s clothes off of him.” When Lazarus was dead he wore dead man cloths like a mummy. But once he was alive he put off those old stinky clothes and put on a brand new set of clothes.
And that is what we do as Christians. Because we are now alive with Jesus, every day we get dressed in our “Jesus suit.” We put off the old stinky way of selfish living and put on the new, clean, clothes of Jesus and his love.
But what does that look like? Great question! Listen to how Paul keeps talking. See if you can hear all the things we can put off, and the things we put on in their place.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.
28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Did you hear any of these?
- Put off: falsehood (lies) – Put on: speaking truth with your neighbor.
- Put off: anger – Put on: resisting the devil.
- Put off: stealing – Put on: honest work with your hands and sharing.
- Put off: corrupt talk – Put on: edifying, grace filled talk.
- Put off: bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, malice – Put on: kindness and forgiveness.
The good news is that no matter what “clothes” we wear today, our Jesus clothes or our old selfish clothes, either way God still loves us no matter what.
And the good news is also that each day we can choose to put on our new “Jesus clothes” and we can choose to speak truth, share, encourage, be kind, and forgive.
What clothes will you wear today?
Because of Jesus we have put off our old selfish self and put on the new Jesus self.
With Jesus we can “dress” like him as we tell the truth, share, encourage, be kind, and forgive.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Talk about what clothes you’ll wear today? Why do you change your clothes? What determines what clothes you will wear? Talk to your kids about how every day we can put on Jesus and his love. Why? Because we have already put on the new self that he gives us.
And you can watch this scene from Into the Spider-Verse where Miles puts on the suit and becomes Spiderman in order to go out and care for others.
You have changed me forever. Now change me every day into your likeness.
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